Medium and small businesses experienced some reprieve in trading conditions over the past two weeks since the lockdown was eased. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
Medium and small businesses experienced some reprieve in trading conditions over the past two weeks since the lockdown was eased. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Yoco’s small business data points to recovery in past two weeks

By Edward West Time of article published Feb 17, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - MEDIUM and small businesses experienced some reprieve in trading conditions over the past two weeks since the lockdown was eased, after a very low January due to seasonal declines after the reinstatement of the level 3 lockdown in late December.

This was according to Yoko chief executive Katlego Maphai, who spoke about the Yoko Small Business Recovery Monitor, a real-time series of online data supplied by Yoko that tracks the devastating impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on small businesses. Yoko is a payments provider to more than 80 000 mostly small businesses.

“Across the board, provinces are edging towards the 100 percent mark in Total Processing Volume (TPV), with the exception of the Western Cape, which remains at 85 percent on average,” Maphai said yesterday, extrapolating from data to February 14.

Valentine’s Day weekend broke the trend, with all provinces cresting the 90 percent mark compared with pre-Covid-19 turnover levels.

On Valentine’s Day, the Recovery Monitor reflected a 100 percent average in TPV across the country, he said.

The food and drink sector had been the slowest to recover: after a bleak January, there was some relief after pay-day and the relaxation of the lockdown regulations.

The sector’s TPV peaked at an average of 115 percent on Valentine’s Day across the country, which was the first time this industry had been above 100 percent since December last year.

Other sectors, notably the retail and the healthcare and beauty sectors, had a better recovery, with businesses in these sectors hovering at 90 to 100 percent during the week to February 14.

Maphai said one of the characteristics of doing business during the pandemic was a depression in TPV over the weekend, which was used to be a busier time for most small businesses.

This trend had remained in place on “normal” weekends. However, there was an improvement across the board over the Valentine’s Day weekend.

The North West and Northern Cape scored the highest percentages in the turnover index per province, with 150 percent and 143 percent respectively. The Western Cape and Gauteng were both 93 percent, while Limpopo was at 92 percent. The turnover index was 128 percent in KwaZulu-Natal and 126 percent in the Eastern Cape in the week to February 14.

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